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Perseverance in Rectitude.

terror and dismay of his Majesty's lieges, I have not the least. doubt that your learned Correspondent would, like every other man of common sense, instead of believing their report, feel himself disposed to inquire whether there were yet room enough for so many in the Lunatic Asylum.

In short, Mr. Editor, not to detain you longer, I am fixed in principle a determined opponent to every species of superstition; which I have learned to regard as one of the worst and deadliest enemies, not only of temporal enjoyment, but also of all true religion. At the same time, however, I am most thoroughly convinced that,

"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth

Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep."

These, whether good or bad, have undoubtedly a wondrous. power over the minds and purposes, and conduct of men, though I do not think it evident, by any means, that any other than the spirit of the Eternal has constant immediate access to the ultimate springs of the human heart, out of which are the issues of life, or of death.. Yours, truly,

Glasgow, 13th January, 1819.




Hoc certum sit tibi immutabile animi decretum nullius peccati conscium esse, nullius flagitii probrum timere.

-But this decretum animi can never possibly sustain a realisement without a continued perseverance in rectitude. Now for a continued perseverance in rectitude various motives may be urged. I shall not at present advert to any which refer to a blissful reward in the mansions of glory; I shall advert to the single motive that perseverance in rectitude has its reward here.

A wealthy man, whose conscience and prevailing practice award to him the high testimony of being virtuous, is one of


Perseverance in Rectitude.

the noblest ornaments of our species. A sense of duty impels him to disseminate the wealth which Providence has bestowed him: he is benificent, judiciously benificent to the poor; he encourages and patronises whatever may appear to be fitted to advance the happiness of his fellows; he joins in every undertaking whose object is the promulgation of knowledge on useful and important subjects; he unweariedly defends the recognised rights and privileges of his countrymen; he resists the encroachments of mobbish domination; he rallies around him the feeling and strength of his neighbourhood to oppose the aggressions of despotic power; the production of good is his never-failing aim; he is the settled and determined foe of iniquity, and immoraliity in whatever quarter they may work, from whatever sources they may spring, and for whatever purposes they may be employed.

It is perfectly evident that a man of this description will not be loved by all; the politically and morally flagitious-the abettors of tyranny-the sacrificers of conscientious feeling to gainful acquirement-the foes of general weal; all these will hate him; their conscience attests that their general conduct is wrong, but its unaided admonition they can hush into stillness: by him however, they are continually reminded of what they ought to do, and are continually upbraided for what they actually do. Our wealthy man of integrity is the object then of the dislike and hatred of no small portion of the species. But in compensation for the hatred and dislike of this part of human kind, he has an ample fund of honourable enjoyment. His strongest and bitterest enemies minister to his self-gratulations; for how sweet must be the incense of the complacency which pervades his mind when he reflects that they vilify him and oppose him, because he acts as an honest man! But besides, he receives the heartfelt commendations of the good of every condition, and every order in society. The widow, the fatherless, and the indigent, all conjoin in raising applaudatory hozannas to his honour; and by the kindness which they beam upon him from their looks, and the veneration with which they speak of him, and the love which they attach to him, and to every thing that is his, he enjoys the reward of his perseverance in rectitude. But the chiefest recompence of his perseverance in rectitude arises from the testimony which his own conscience affords, hat he has done, and that he continues in the doing of his duty. This it is which enables him to overpower the strong opposition which he encounters in

Perseverance in Rectitude.

his virtuous career. Animated by the soft and gentle, but Elysian strains, with which he is regaled from the penetralia of his soul, he undeviatingly and unfaulteringly pursues his onward line of rectitude. His internal monitor whispers joyfulness and peace. Vivified by its continued alimentary approbation, he vacillates none; he veers not with the current of popular opinion; viewing the declared will of God as his appointed pole-star, he, under its directing sway, steers himself through the turbid and boisterous agitations which beat upon him from every quar


If he should be deprived of the wife of his bosom, of the child of his tenderest affection, of his early and ever steady friend; if by force or fraud, he should be despoiled of his revenues; if he should be obliged to lower himself in the scale of society, to recede from the high and respected circle in which he had been accustomed to move; if besides being reduced to poverty, and being bereaved of those with whom he loved to associate, if he in person should be the subject of painful disease:-he does not sink into despondency. No: the consciousness that he is approved of by Him, whose approbation is alone worthy of being secured this feeds with unceasing energies the sunshine of his soul; a sunshine produced by his unremitted steadfastness in rectitude-a sunshine which scatters and drives away every internal cloudiness and gloom.

Glasgow, January 4th, 1819.

M. N.


Oft when we stand on brink of dark despair.

Some happy turn with joy dispels our care-Ramsay.

He that thinks himself at the remotest distance from death, is many times the nearest to it; yet as some men who have received the sentence of condemnation, have met with an unlooked for pardon; so others have escaped, when, to all human reasou, they might be numbered among the dead.

Escapes from Death.

In the account of Muscovia, by the Ambassador Dometrius, there is the following relation of the memorable fortune of a country peasant.-The man seeking for honey, leapt down into a hollow tree, where he got into such plenty of it, that it sucked him in up to the breast; he had lived two days upon honey only, and finding that his voice was not heard in that solitary wood, he despaired of freeing himself from his liquorish captivity; but he was saved by a strange chance. A huge bear came to the same tree to eat of the honey, whereof these beasts are very greedy; he descended into the tree, as a man would do, with his hinder parts forward; which observed, the poor forlorn creature catched hold of his loins; the bear in a lamentable fright laboured with all his power to get out, and thereby drew out the peasant from his sweet prison, which otherwise had proved his tomb. Lonic. Causin.

Anno Domini, 1375, there was a great plague at Colen. Amonst many others who were infected with it was a noble lady, her name was Richmut Adolch; she lived in the new market, where her house is yet to be seen, and being supposed to die of it, was accordingly buried. The sextons knew that she was interred with a ring upon her finger, and therefore the night following they came privily to the grave, and digged up the coffin, and opened it; upon which the buried lady raised up herself! The sextons ran away in a terrible fright, and left their lanthorn behind them, which she took up, and made haste to the house of her husband: she was known by him, and received in afterwards being attended with all care and diligence, she perfectly recovered, and lived to have three sons by her husband, all which she devoted to the ministerial function. The truth of all this is confirmed by a public monumental inscription erected in memory of so strange a thing; and is yet to be seen in the entrance of the holy apostles. Addit. Fabrit. Kornman.

Aristomenes, general of the Messenians, had with too much courage adventured to set upon both the kings of Sparta, and being in that flight wounded and fallen to the ground, was taken up senseless, and carried away prisoner with fifty of his companions. There was a deep cave into which the Spartans used to cast headlong such as were condemned to die for the greatest offences: to this punishment Aristomenes and his companions

Escapes from Death.

were adjudged. All these poor men died with their falls, except Aristomenes, who received no harm; yet it was harm enough to be imprisoned in a deep dungeon, amongst dead carcases, where he was likely to perish with hunger and stench. But a while after he perceived by some small glimmering of light which came in at the top, a fox that was gnawing upon a dead body: hereupon he bethought himself that this beast must needs know some way to enter the place and get out; for which cause he made shift to lay hold upon it, and catching it by the tail with one hand, saved himself from biting with the other hand by thrusting his coat into the mouth of it; so letting it creep whether it would, he followed, holding it as his guide, until the way was patent enough for him, and then dismissed it.

The fox being loose ran through an hole, through which came a little light, and there did Aristomenes delve so long with his nails, that at last he clawed out his passage, and so got home in safety, as both the Corinthians and Spartans after found to their cost. Polyen. Pausan. Pezel. Raleigh.


In the earthquake of Apulia, that happened in the year 1627, on the last day of July, in the city of St. Severine alone, ten thousand souls were taken out of the world: and in the horror of such ruins, and sepulchre of so many mortals, a great thrown out of a steeple by the earthquake, fell so fitly over a child, that it inclosed him, and doing no harm, made a bulwark for him against every other danger. Causin.

Anno Domini, 1568, upon the eve of All-saints, by the swelling of the sea, there was so great a deluge as covered certain islands of Zealand, a great part of the sea coast of Holland, and almost all Frizeland. In Frizeland alone there were twenty thousand persons drowned; many men who had climbed to the tops of hills and trees were ready to die for hunger, but were in time saved by boats. Among the rest, upon an hill by Sneace, they found an infant, carried thither by the water, in its cradle, with a cart lying by it. The poor babe was soundly sleeping without any fear, and happily saved.-Strada. Clark.

Leo, son to the Emperor Basilius Macedo, was accused by Theodorus Sandabarenus, a monk, as having designed upon the life of his father, and was thereupon cast into prison, and

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